I’m currently eligable for an upgrade on AT&T and have no clue what I’m going to be getting (but if anyone says iPhone you are immediately disqualified from conversation.)  I tend to do a lot of research in deciding my phone of choice and realized that not everyone does or even knows how.  Over the next few months I plan on posting up all my research for two reasons.  One, because I’ll learn quite a bit about some newer handsets coming to AT&T’s market and two, because I want to know what you guys think.  Fact is that without people to read this stuff then I wouldn’t be here, which kind of means I work for you.  We’ve got a good Windows Mobile base of writers here with a few oddballs.  Simmons is on the Android train drinking all the Google kool-aid he can get his hands on, and Ramon is rocking the Blackberry.  If you readers feel like some area of mobile news is not getting addressed properly by our articles then now is the time to say so.  Whatever phone I get will obviously effect the apps, UI’s, articles, etc, that get posted here.  Now I’m not leaving this completely up to the masses but I intend to do a good bit of listening as well.  Read more for the ground rules.

Number 1:  I am on AT&T and intend to stay this way because I get a sweet discount working at Best Buy. 

Number 2:  I will not get an Apple product no matter how many suggestions are sent that I do so.  Deal with it.

Number 3:  I will post as much info as I can gather on any handset I am seriously considering and will do a hands on with the hardware as well before the actual purchase.

Number 4:  I will not buy a phone until at least late August or early September. 

Number 5:  I am pretty much game for any Smarthphone you guys think would be a good part of our regular coverage.

and finally Number 6:  It’s my phone and I’ve got to live with it for two years so I reserve full veto rights in the end, but much the same way Simmons wanted someone to convince him to get the Nexus, I’m interested in knowing what all you other tech minded people think looks like the best idea. 

I’m going to go ahead and let you all know what I want out of my phone for this first entry and a few things that are already on my list of possibilities.  If it seems like I’ve overlooked something at any time, please call foul, so that I can explain or address it.  I use my phone for communicating first off all.  It’s got to have a polished core experience for the basics like calling, texting, and emailing.  I don’t really care so much for social networking because I only have it to get pictures for my contacts and not to communicate.  I intend to use the phone for a good amount of media playback so the ability to play and/or edit media makes a big difference.  This includes documents as well cause I’m in college.  Writing a five page history paper on a phone may suck, but it’s nice to be able to carry around a copy of your work and jot ideas directly into the document itself and not some half-assed note taking software you have to reconcile with the original file later.  It must have the standard sensors for modern high end smartphones which includes g-sensor, gps, and proximity/light sensors.  It must also have a decent camera (I don’t care about how many megapixels it has because that number is garbage most of the time.  I’m talking about real world camera quality and if you don’t know what I mean then ask Doug Simmons to send you his email tutorial.)  Video recording is a must but I’m not going to set any kind of quality requirements here.  I’ve probably taken a total of like 3 minutes of mobile video my entire life and it ended up being something I really wish I didn’t record.  I would like it to have an LED light but it’s not a dealbreaker.  I don’t think I need to tell you that it has to be a capacative touch screen but it does need a REAL screen resolution of at least WVGA to get my rocks off in style.  I don’t have any OS requirments to throw at you guys because I want it to be fairly open, but this will be a flagship device for whatever OS you’re going to be recommending.  Games are a good addition but not required, as I hardly ever play them.  Apps don’t really do it for me.  If you’re going to reccomend something based only on the number of apps available then save your time because you will have wasted your life on that argument.  I want to do a specific set of things with my phone and if it can do that out of the box without apps then I’m game.  I am also not beneath tinkering with the thing which is how I ended up here in the first place.  I want to know what you guys think is the best way to accomplish all of this with the most style and elegance regardless of the amount of work it takes to get there. 

To set you guys off on the reccomendations I’ll let you know what I’m considering.  The phone currently making my toes curl in anticipation is Emblaze’s First Else.  This is, in my opinion, something that seems to do all these things above with a good level of polish and some very unique philosophies on how a smartphone should operate.  This also demonstrates my willingness to leave the herd of traditional smartphone manufacturers.  I’m also considering WinPho 7 as a possibility but have yet to see any hardware that tickles my proverbial pickle (Don’t mention the LG because no matter how hard they try every phone LG releases ends up looking like a crappy feature phone piece of shit.)  I’m also considering a high end Android model similar to the Evo or the Incredible.

So let me know what you guys think should be the next phone added to our staff of writers because this WILL affect what we post and write about.  Also, I’m pretty lost on this decision for the moment and need some friendly direction.  What should I get and why?


  1. Just because it’s kool aid doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste great. At the I/O thing Google had a whole lot of new devices on display and on your timetable some of them may surface with AT&T-friendly radios to curl your toes away from this First Else device.

    That said, that phone looks intriguing. Good specs, anti-establishment UI, Linux. If you want to diversify MD’s content further and into unchartered territories then this looks like your phone. Can’t find any information on whether or not it can handle the usual video and word processing formats or if its radio will get you 3G on AT&T, have a feeling it won’t show up on the shelves as an AT&T-sanctioned phone letting you take advantage of your discount.

    Seems to be these days that if the phone is really good and you really want it, AT&T doesn’t sell it. What’s up with that?

  2. Thanks Bryan. PDADB.net is an awesome resource with plenty of support to keep it as up to date as possible. As far as AT&T’s ability to commit cell-phone sabotage against their partners, I think Microsoft caught on to that and is why they have the restrictions they do for their carriers. I think this greatly increases the draw of any device but at the same time a clean wipe is mostly a ROM or Hard Reset away depending on what it is. I’m just beginning to get worried about ads in mobile OS’s. We’ve been lucky enough to avoid it in the desktop world and I don’t understand why we should stand for it on our cell phones. >:o

  3. “… but if anyone says iPhone you are immediately disqualified from conversation.”

    In that case I guess I’d better preemptively recuse myself from this. I’d comment on this hippie phone you linked but the company’s decision to use nothing but Flash over HTML5 on their website speaks for itself.

  4. @who dis?! – written specifically to bring you out of troll mode for a jolly post or two. I’m sort of a hippie hybrid. I’m lazy and anti-THE MAN and everything but I totally enjoy a good dose of grotesque violence and racially stereotypical humor as well. And the environment can eat my ass. If it’s the only thing I’m ever remembered for, I want it to be my carbon footprint stomping the earth a new asshole. Plus, the most prominent tree-hugging flip-flop wearer is too busy making your next phone’s screen smaller.

  5. Simmons: Same reason Verizon ditched your precious Nexus One in favor of the Incredible. You want to have one awesome phone as your company’s aircraft carrier, not an awesome one and one honorable mention right next to it. That’s dilution.

    Except with AT&T it’s not the Droid of course. I think you know which phone it is, and which successor to that phone it will be ready to roll for Matt and his discount powers and I imagine his need for an insane amount of pixels.

    Matt: This is one troll to whom you don’t want to claim you successfully trolled. Your mouth is writing checks your Best Buy employee discounts can’t cash big guy.

  6. who dis?! – Always a good bit of fun when you’re around. Plus I knew if I didn’t say anything, you’d have shown up recommending a phone that would taint my computer with itunes. At least I was up front about my disregarding your opinions.

  7. Well if Matt won’t say it I will, you have not only been trolled once but twice. I can also say with almost 100% certainty, that with your limited two dimensional thought processes, that you will respond at least one more time. You are simply unable to resit being baited, I guess that actually make you our pet Troll.

  8. Well I suppose that sounds like checkmate against me, doesn’t it.

    Hmm. Let’s see, what are my options here. I could hit submit and then you win based on your pseudo-intelligent paradigm or I could not hit submit but in doing so I’d affirm that you have some element of control against me and my posting.

    I’ll be damned to just bend over and let you have that. So I think I’ll go with the former.


  9. Shall we try for another one, here trollie trollie trollie!!!!! I have a tasty little comment for you “Apple bites”. Here trollie trollie trollie!!!!! Would you like me to scratch behind your ears for you, here trollie trollie!!!!!!

  10. Hey Matt!

    Gotta hand it to you for hanging onto adding not one but two spaces after the periods even though that redundancy phased out a long time ago. What, do you do it just to make your term papers take up more pages? Kinda clever actually if that’s why. Or do you think that’s what real is and that you’re going to keep it that way no matter what everyone else does?

    Not sure whether to admire that fervor or just find it irritating, you and your double spaces, but since you’re probably not the only one holding onto that mentality, got a great programming idea for you. Make something that automatically adds that extra space and get rich! That would be one of the easiest programs to program and I don’t know if it’s been done yet (but if it has it ain’t on the App Store), however, depending on which language you go with to code this masterpiece, better be careful about adding that flare of yours into the code itself, might screw up the syntax.

    To offer you a quick history lesson which you may use for your test drive of the program when you’re ready to write your thesis for your Independent Study of Lameness class, the practice was introduced to help justify aligned line breaking so that each sentence would come out more crisply aligned by employing the double spacing selectively, but that died after the typewriter was replaced with modern equipment that could handle proportional fonts. But hey, each to his own; do your thing girlfriend!


  11. We did get another. I really didn’t think he’d go for four in one post. Usually he tries to split it up between a couple of posts to spread the love to the rest of our writers. I feel honored. And what you’re using a Devorak keyboard then dumb ass?

  12. In all fairness Matt, you should include the Iphone in your list for comparisons.
    I think DavidK did a comparison with a rock and it was quit interesting. The rock won of coarse but only because the Iphone is so expensive. It does make a good paperweight though.

  13. Apple, Android, WM 6.5, WP7, Web OS, Else, Maemo, RIM, Let the best phone win I say; I’ll be damned when one of ’em gets a brain and starts linking Contacts to appointments and tasks! They call ’em smartphones; please! The competition boils over, blows steam and drys up leaving hard cash stains all for what?

  14. @Brock – The First Else phone I linked in the article specifically addresses this one complaint with a unified database for all this stuff. Should you get a phone call or text from a contact you will also be reminded of any tasks or appointments you have with that particular contact. They’re doing some very interesting stuff with their phone’s OS. It’s supposed to be coming to AT&T from what I’ve seen on the radio spectrum it supports, but I totally agree that it’s really about getting maximum quality and freedom for the money spent. Thanks for throwing in though.

  15. i will be paying the ETF and switching to sprint in favor of the EVO and a lower monthly payment. IMO AT&T will not have any decent phones until that contract with crApple is up.

  16. That’s the first I’ve heard of that Else; it looks reallyreally interesting. Here’s something I’d like to throw out there (because I may want to consider it an option as well): Netbooks. Could you pair a netbook with a headset and Skype and ditch the ppc altogether? Then you’d have your note-taking, word processing abilities, whatever games you want, web surfing, hulu watching in what, about 3 pounds?
    Now for you guys this might not be an option, but when a netbook easily fits in my purse for 3 or 4 pounds, I like the idea…

  17. i just wanna say, have you touched a palm pre plus yet? we just got them in the store and i have to say, im pretty impressed with it, the UI is all gesture based and it seems like it would be a pain in the ass, but its far from it. i could go into all the details about what it had but chances are youre just gunna do your research anyway. but seriously, go play with one in a store cuz they are friggin sweet from what ive seen so far. oh, and gaming doesnt get any better on phones ATM… and they have earthworm jim… who doesnt wanna play earthworm jim?
    ps. glad to see you guys got conTROLL…

  18. @MartiM – Hey guys, why are you carrying that waterbottle on a hike? Couldn’t you just take this entire cooler with you? It’s got steak and eggs and orange juice and ice to keep it all cool; oh yea theres no water though. Maybe you can wait for the ice to melt? MartiM why don’t we all grow a hump on are back so we can buy bigger t-shirts and get our moneys worth.

  19. Holy! I had to type that five times and now it shows up twice! seriously the comments are glitchin. This is my second time complaining about them that you might not see. ; )

    • We’re looking into it, along with some other issues with comments now. I’ve been going behind you and picking out the better of your posts and deleting the other. You usually do better the second time. :) Once you comment just give it about 20 minutes and it should update. Most of the comments are manually approved so sometimes that can cause a minor delay but this is something else.

  20. @ Brock- Is that you who dis? Those incoherent rambling are so much alike, you are either hiding your true fake name in shame or you have a twin brother that is a chip of the old family tree. Here trollie trollie trollie!!!!!

  21. @sm0k3y – I played with the original Sprint Pre a while back. One of my friends that works at Radio Shack, or just the Shack as they’ve taken to calling it, had it but had issues with the hardware. I think the OS is amazing though. It does and has everything I’m interested in but as much as I like the build quality does concern me. Plus I’m interested in seeing what HP does with the brand. I don’t want to jump on a ship that is about to get frankensteined into something that could be far more bad ass. If they can get some awesome handsets running WebOS then this may go back on the table, but until then I’m just too wary of the Pre. Oh and I hate the keyboard on the Pre more than who dis?! hates getting trolled.

  22. agreed, wait to see what HP does, assuming that they keep webOS, i might get one of those instead of WP7… so hard to choose tho… WP7 with its promise of amazing quickness and unrivaled gaming, or whatever HP cooks up… assuming they do a good job… i just hope they both come out around the same time cuz im gettin antsy in my pantsy and i might end up jumping on the first one available… one last thing though, sprint had the pre, not sure wut the difference between pre and pre plus are but my boss has used his pre for 3 weeks now and not had a single comlaint (he came from a nuvi-phone, LG km900 (unlocked) and a BB 9700 bold) hes obsessed with it… and im definately jealous…

  23. @BRYAN B: Incoherent? Who isn’t making sense now? Or should I say Who Dis is making sense now. Here Trollie, here boy! Now sick em! You compare me to a name caller, I merely jest in fun and keep the topic rollin. Just the same apologize or you shall pay dearly, J/K. What part of my analogies had you doing mental backflips? I was quite dissapointed when I saw that the version involving the use of big handles to carry the cooler was excluded. That would be like the handles on MartiM’s purse. Do I really have a lot of s’plainin to do or can you just look up some of the bigger words like steak and eggs in wiktionary? Maybe I should have reffered to meat and potatoes which is what we deal with on our computers? I don’t know about you but most of my phone use would have cooled down a little if I had to entice all of my customers into using Skype. Let’s just put this argument on ice a while till we get to know each other a little better. Perhaps you agree with MartiM and a netbook will suit you just fine in and make good use of your fanny pack collection.

  24. Analogies, back flips, steak, eggs, yeah I think I will stick with incoherent ramblings.
    Let me give you a hint . If you have to explain your joke , or “jest”, it’s just not all that funny. I’ll give you another hint, he is looking for recommendations to replace his phone, you could have said the Samsung Galaxy http://androidcommunity.com/samsung-galaxy-s-has-the-best-multi-touch-screen-ever-20100524/ or perhaps some other device of YOUR choice, that would constitute continuing the comments. I don’t consider sarcastic responses to another’s preferences productive.
    As far as auguring, I wasn’t aware we were. I just noted the similarities in the comments made by you and who dis?!

  25. @BRYAN B: Wow! Brian who’s the troll now. Your tone is very unfriendly and from the begining quite judgemental calling me a troll and in-coherent. MartiM did not have a preference but rather a concept she wished to introduce and quite frankly I couldn’t care less whether or not it is a good idea. I was just having fun with the notions that she conjured up for me what her reasoning seemed to justify. Your like that guy in a bar that starts a fight based upon two other guys conversations. As you are picking sides they are simply entertaining themselves with light hearted banter. I haven’t seen even the slightest effort on your part to keep this friendly. Your sense of humor ends with almost spelling augering instead of arguing. As much fun as digging this hole with you may be (get it! har har) I am through.

  26. Geeze, leave it to a bunch of “men” to type a bunch of crap that I gotta’ weed through to get to the point. All of you appear to be a bunch of trolls. Go comb your hair.

  27. Good golly, thirty comments! Forgive me for gloating but it would appear my work in this here thread is done.

    Please excuse me while I do a Safari PNG capture of this sucker for posterity — one of my finer works. Thanks for the layup Matt!

  28. […] now that everything’s compatible with everything and don’t give a shit. Maybe a couple people dummies on the fence were tipped over the edge when seeing Microsoft and/or Windows slapped onto the sales […]

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